The Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest encourages students to find a problem in their community and use science, math and technology to solve it.
Kennedy Middle School 6th graders entered the contest this year with a video about composting in Natick and out of over 1,600 entries they were chosen as one of the top 15 entries, winning $40,000 in technology for the school.
Now, five of the top 15 finalists in the contest have an opportunity to win an additional $70,000. Four will be determined by a panel of judges, while one will be chosen by public online voting (just scroll until you see Kennedy Middle School to vote).
"Overall, the idea of the composting project was derived in a professional development class grades 6-8th grade teachers took this past summer," 6th grade teacher Chris Forest wrote in an email. "It also piggy backed on the school garden we started last year. Given some parameters, kids did research on compost and from this they made an online survey for the community. Data from the community led us to focus on vermicompost, because the survey showed people didn't compost due to fear of smell and attracting animals. Brainstorming and scavenging led to the design we used."
6th grade science teacher Ellen Brenneman was the lead teacher on the project. Other teachers who worked with the students on the project include Arthur Williams (helped coordinate and make the video), Brittany Marshall (math), Tom Stefanini (technology engineering), Casey Lane & Don Griffin (voice overs and narration) and Chris Forest (helped with the survey and video).
There were 62 students involved in the project. Again, to vote online, click here and scroll down to Kennedy Middle School.